Jay Rayner visited Davies and Brook inside Claridge’s and declared the cooking as “admirable” and “impressive” with “some show-stopping dishes.” He also mentioned the high price tag but wrote it off as something that one simply had to accept, like “the Pope being too religious or Rory Stewart being too annoying.” The restaurant belongs to Daniel Humm, chef of the three Michelin star Eleven Madison Park in New York. And Rayner does not forget to mention that “everything is coffee-table photography book pretty.” But it’s not just all looks, because “the main courses are simply two of the best plates of food [Rayner has] been served in London in many years.” Black cod with a touch of miso and grilled – we’re intrigued.
Address: Claridge’s, Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR
“A small kitchen turning out magic,” is how restaurant critic Grace Dent describes The Melusine in St Katharine Docks, close to Tower Bridge. The restaurant’s menu “shifts with the tides.” When Dent went, she enjoyed fresh rock and native oysters, cherrystone clams, langoustines off the plancha and mussels with wild mushrooms and lovage. The catch of the day was plaice, a big one, 700 grams, which came from the Channel from a fisherman called Dean. We bet that connection Dent made to the food and its origin played a part in how she reviewed The Melusine.
Address: Unit K, Ivory House, St Katharine Docks, East Smithfield, London E1W 1AT
We love restaurants that have a history in another country – think L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele, which originates in Naples and now has two branches in London. Pollo Feliz, which just launched in Hackney, first opened in Mexico in the 1970s. Its flour tortilla, traditionally fortified with lard, is made with a mix of vegetable fats, making it completely vegetarian. And not just that, it’s also a regional variety from the Sonora region of Mexico that does not exist anywhere else in London or the UK for that matter.
Wildflower Irish fine dining restaurant has just launched in a shipping container in Camden. It is the debut London restaurant of 28-year-old Irish celebrity chef Adrian Martin. The intimate space provides seats for only 30 people and pays special attention to sustainability. The seasonally changing menus are inspired by the chef’s heritage and focus on locally sourced produce. There is also a communal Garden Terrace where the team grows herbs and shoots that are used in the kitchen. Food waste is composted and used to generate energy. It’s an unusual marriage of fine dining, sustainability and shipping containers, making it all the more quirky and exciting.
Where? Camden (Buck Street) Market, Camden High Street, London, NW1 8QP
When? 2nd March 2020
The man behind One Pound Meal cookbooks, Miguel Barclay, is set to open Miguel’s Pizza in Camden this spring. The pizza by the slice restaurant will be opening in the new Buck Street Market development and offer New York-style pizza, made fresh on-site every day. There will be T-shirts as well. Stay tuned.
Where? 180-188 Camden High Street NW1 8QP
When? Spring 2020
Been to the Big Apple recently? Or ever? Then you may appreciate the NYC-inspired spot to open in Peckham soon. Emulating Gotham City’s corner restaurants and delis, this all-day spots will serve coffee and pastries for breakfast, deli-style sandwiches for lunch, and a sharing plates menu for dinner. The team behind Larry’s is the one behind Salon and Levan, so expect good things.
Where? Unit 5, 12-16 Blenheim Grove, London, SE15 4QL
When? 19th March 2020
NASI Economy Rice
You might have read recently how ghost kitchens are taking over, and NASI Economy Rice is just another example. The takeaway serving up affordable Malaysian rice boxes is an expansion of Mandy Yin’s Sambal Shiok in Holloway (famous and loved for its bowls of laksa). The menu will include a wide variety of hearty Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes, because it is Mandy’s mission to introduce as many people as possible to Malaysian food.
Where? 169 Holloway Road, London N7 8LX
When? March 2020
Vegans who love Mexican food, listen up. There’s a new kid in town. Club Mexicana has been popping up across London, including in Seven Dials market, but it’s about to open a permanent restaurant in Carnaby. Menu items include the Cheezeburger burrito, Chipotle mushroom, and smoked tofu taco, and The MFC, a Mexican fried chick’n burrito.
Where? Kingly Court, Kingly St, Soho, London W1B 5PW
When? March 2020
We’ve been hit by the pasta fever, and Tavolino is riding the wave with us. Expect a selection of pastas made by head chef Bancone Louis Koravilas and his team each morning. Dishes will be cooked with produce from across Italy and the UK. The restaurant is split across two floors, with interiors inspired by traditional coffee bars in Milan and trattorias in Florence. We’ll take freshly made pasta with views over the Thames any day.
Where? Unit 1, 2 More London Place, London SE1 2JP
When? April 2020
The creators of the Cheese Bar and conveyor-belt restaurant Pick & Cheese at Seven Dials bring you the double-decker Cheese Barge, scheduled to open in Paddington this spring. The floating restaurant will be highlighting the UK’s best small producer cheeses, such as Quicke’s and Cropwell Bishop. We’re ready for explorer mode.
Where? Sheldon Square, Paddington Central
When? April 2020
“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard” – sound familiar? It’s no surprise that Kelis once dedicated a whole song to a drink (we know you may disagree that this is what the song was about, but let’s not dwell on that now). She’s been heavily involved in the food scene for the last couple of years and in honour of her 20-year old record, she will be launching The Yard this month. All the milkshakes are based on songs from the Kaleidoscope album released in 2000, including Millionaire, a Millionaire shortbread milkshake topped with edible paper 100$ bills, or Good Stuff with plantain, jerk seasoning and frozen banana ‘ribs.’
Where? 46 Great Eastern St, Hackney, London EC2A 3EP
When? 18-19th March 2020
The new-format restaurant in London’s Fitzrovia introduces a new six-course tasting menu every six weeks – and it’s affordable too. Costing only £35, Scottish-Italian chef Nico Simeone is committed to making his food accessible. Due to lower property prices, his Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool branches serve tasting menus for only £29. Menus are revealed two weeks before the launch date.
Where? 33-41 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1RR
When? Spring 2020
Anan will be a supper club first, and a permanent restaurant later this year. The supper club’s founder, Eyal Jagermann, is co-founder and head chef of Covent Garden restaurant The Barbary, which opened in 2016 to brilliant reviews. The focus is on hummus, balanced with a variety of plant-based dishes such as golden cauliflower, served Jaffa style, Medjool confit beetroot with dukkah, or burnt sweet potato brûlée.
Where? Allpress, 55 Dalston Lane, London E8 2NG
When? 12-14th March 2020